Use our finding aids to explore the Archives of Women Artists. Finding aids are tools to assist researchers in finding information. They are detailed documents that provide an overview and “map” of each collection’s contents.
The Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center’s (LRC) reading room is closed to visitors, but the LRC staff is standing by to answer reference inquiries. Researchers may contact the LRC by emailing LRC@nmwa.org.
Personal Papers and Manuscripts
Catharina Baart Biddle
Biddle (1912–2005) was an artist, educator, and philanthropist. This collection includes materials documenting her life and work, notably an assortment of correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia. Materials in the collection range from the early 1900s through 2005, with the majority of items dating from 1938 to 2002.
The Judy Chicago Visual Archive visually documents the career of feminist artist Judy Chicago (b. 1939). It consists of photographic negatives, contact sheets, and copy prints documenting Chicago’s iconic installation The Dinner Party (1974–79), slides of Chicago’s early and mid-career artwork, and physical and digital copies of her lectures. This collection is growing over time with additional deposits from the artist.
Susan DeRenne Coerr
Susan (Susie) DeRenne Coerr (1939–2007) served for ten years as registrar at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She co-founded the Northern California chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art, ultimately serving as president of the national organization. The collection consists of materials relating to Coerr’s work with the caucus and other aspects of her professional life and interests.
Eulabee Dix (1878–1961) is best known for her work as a miniature painter. The Eulabee Dix Papers include correspondence with friends, patrons, and galleries; photographs; news clippings; and two scrapbooks containing reproductions of Dix’s work. Manuscripts by Dix and her palette and brush are also part of the collection.
The Nelleke Nix and Marianne Huber Collection: The Frida Kahlo Papers consists of 369 letters, postcards, notes, clippings, printed matter, and drawings related to the life and work of Frida Kahlo (1907–1954). Most of the material in this collection was generated between 1930 and 1935. A significant portion is a group of letters between Kahlo and members of her family.
This collection consists of materials by American photographer Susan Katz (b. 1947) related to “The Woman I Am” project, originally intended to be published as a photobook. The project documents women artists, performers, musicians, and writers in their New York City studios during the mid-1970s.
Ann Kocsis (d. 1973) was a painter primarily of still-lifes and views of her own New York City studio. The Ann Kocsis Papers primarily contain the artist’s correspondence with associations and galleries from 1935 until 1973. Also included is a scrapbook of reviews and programs from exhibitions that included works by Kocsis.
The papers of New York-based freelance illustrator and painter Pauline Woelf (Wulf) Kruetzfeldt (1890–1960) span her life. Materials include personal and professional correspondence, biographical material and memorabilia, exhibition catalogues, clippings, scrapbook, artwork, sketchbook, and writings.
Valeria Ladd (1919–1985) was a painter of figure abstraction in oil and watercolor, but is best known for her contributions to dance. She directed numerous groups and worked for the Noyes School of Rhythm, where a scholarship was named for her. This small collection contains photographs, several dance programs, letters, and notebooks including Ladd’s poetry.
Doris Lee (1905–1983) was a highly regarded painter who was commissioned by Life magazine for travel articles and illustrations. The Doris Lee Papers consist of personal objects such as photographs, correspondence, awards, and financial and legal documents. Ephemera such as periodicals, clippings, calendars, postcards, and exhibition catalogues are included, along with original work.
Maria Sibylla Merian
The materials in the Kleps-Hok Collection consist of biographical information, correspondence, notes, photos, facsimiles, and other items relating to the life and work of Dutch naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717). The collection spans the years 1620 to 1993.
Anna Massey Lea Merritt
Anna Massey Lea Merritt (1844–1930) was a versatile artist and writer working in the U.S. and England who executed several major mural commissions, portraits, and paintings on literary and religious subjects. The Anna Massey Lea Merritt Papers consist almost entirely of photographs taken from 1863 to 1922.
The World of Charlotte Moorman collection includes announcements, programs, fliers, photographs, and press releases related to her work as a cellist, collaborations with Nam June Paik, Joseph Beuys and Yoko Ono, as well as items around the Avant Garde Festival of New York. Materials in the collection range in date from 1955-1990, with the majority of items dating from 1963-1980.
Irene Rice Pereira
Irene Rice Pereira (1902–1971) was an abstract painter, poet, and philosopher. The Irene Rice Pereira Papers collection contains periodicals; personal notes; a manuscript of Pereira’s memoir; photographs of her work; a copy of her 1957 book, The Lapis; and photocopies of her notebooks.
Idah Pratt Foster
Idah Sidonia Ambuhl Pratt Foster (1884–1967) was an American newspaperwoman involved in women’s rights. This collection consists of a single scrapbook spanning 1912–16 and copies of her newspaper, Redondo Breeze. The scrapbook contains a wide variety of material including photographs from the Panama-California Exposition in 1915, correspondence, and articles.
Edna Reindel (1894–1990) was a painter, muralist, and illustrator known for her bold, delineated style. The collection consists of materials from the 1920s through the 1970s including biographical sketches, photographs, correspondence, essays, awards, and other ephemera documenting Reindel’s exhibitions and magazine illustration career.
This collection contains more than 1,000 original sketches, numerous newspaper clippings, correspondence, invitations, photographs, and the personal journal of artist Marian Stevens (1885–1974).
Louise Kidder Sparrow
Louise Kidder Sparrow (1884–1979) sculpted portraits and busts from 1924 to 1934, earning her international recognition. This collection contains essays, chronologies, and notes written by Sparrow; clippings, letters to the editor and other correspondence; and 48 of Sparrow’s sculptural tools.
The Anita Steckel Papers document the life and career of New York-based artist and feminist Anita Steckel (1930–2012). Steckel was known for her erotic paintings and collages as well as for the founding of the Fight Censorship Group in 1973. The collection contains correspondence, photographs, and artwork. Most of the materials in the collection date from 1953 to 2012.
Judith E. Stein
Art historian Judith E. Stein (b. 1943) has written extensively and curated many exhibitions highlighting art and artists not typically part of popular critical dialogue. This collection includes materials from 1970 to 2001 containing correspondence, artworks, and copies of Stein’s published writings, as well as ephemera relating to women artists.
Collections and Organizational Records
Artist and the Quilt Collection
The National Museum of Women in the Arts is the primary repository for the records of the Artist and the Quilt, a traveling exhibition of quilts created from paintings. This collection contains materials from 1973 to 2003 documenting the development, creation, and exhibition of the project, including correspondence, images, and a quilt-covered scrapbook that includes personal stories.
Dulah Evans Krehbiel Card Collection
This collection consists of a sample book of greeting cards designed by the Illinois artist Dulah Evans Krehbiel (1875–1951) and painted by artisans of the Ridge Colony Crafts Studio from 1910 to 1915.
Focus International Collection
“Focus International: American Women in Art” was held concurrently with the 1985 United Nations World Conference on Women in Nairobi. The program included American Showcase, an exhibition of works on paper, along with films, slides, literary readings, and performance arts. In addition to the administrative papers, this collection includes photographs, slides, postcards, and artwork.
Global Focus Collection
“Global Focus: Women in Art and Culture” was a project founded by artist Nancy Cusick. It gave women artists the opportunity to participate in the Fourth World Conference on Women and the parallel Non-Governmental Organizations Forum held in Beijing in 1995.
Feldman Collection of 19th-Century Artist Correspondence
The collection consists of five original letters written by women artists active during the 1850s and 1860s: Frances von Sturmer, Fanny Steers, Emma Squire, Agnes Scott, and Clara L. Bell. In most cases, the letters focus on the art business and exhibitions.
Francis Collection on Mary Nimmo Moran
Widely considered to be among the foremost American etchers of the 19th century, Mary Nimmo Moran (1842–1899) produced prints that were celebrated for their boldness and originality. The Marilyn G. Francis Collection consists of biographical material on the artist.
Friends of Alice Pike Barney Studio House, Inc. Collection
This collection consists of material generated by the Friends of Alice Pike Barney Studio House, Inc. from 1992 to 2001. The organization worked to maintain the legacy of a historical Washington, D.C., home once owned by the artist Alice Pike Barney (1857–1931).
Information Service-Informationsdienst Collection
The exhibition Information Service—Informationsdienst was a mobile archive created in Germany in 1992 to provide a broad overview of the work of women artists. The collection consists of biographical information, books, images, videotapes, and other items relating to the work of 70 contemporary artists. The dates of the collection range from 1982 to 1994.
International Festival of Women Artists
The 1980 International Festival of Women Artists, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in conjunction with the World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women, brought together artists from more than 30 countries. In addition to the event’s administrative papers, this collection includes a banner, photographs, audiotapes, slides, and a postcard collection.
The Letters of Intemperance Collection
This collection is a mail art project consisting of 55 letters written by artist Christine Steel and sent to notable figures in the international art world. The materials are both textual and visual—the letters are composed of original verses by Steel and handmade paper crafts. The project ran from 1988 to 1991 and was exhibited at the Scharpoord Cultural Center in Belgium.
Washington Women’s Art Center
This collection consists of brochures and records of membership for this important Washington, D.C., organization of aspiring and working artists. The collection also contains member newsletters spanning 1977 to 1988, as well as exhibition and show announcements.